When planning family pictures on vacation…

If you are like many, you are meeting your family this summer for a fun filled get-together.  And often, family members are coming from all over, and haven’t been together in years.

That is one of the main reasons I get asked to take pictures for families gathering at Bear lake.  Their kids and grandkids are scattered over the states.  And maybe every couple of years, they are all together.  Often family pictures are the highlight of the reunion for grandma and grandpa.  I’ve seen many grandparents in tears over the joy of seeing their posterity together.

This is my 5th summer photographing multi-generational families at Bear Lake and I have a few ideas you may not have thought about as you prepare for pictures on your vacation.


1.  Heat exhaustion.  Which is not getting enough fluids during a hot day, followed  by a headache and other symptoms.  This happened to my son, so I was familiar with the signs,  and it happened to a client I recently photographed.  We were meeting in the evening and one of the boys of this family had been playing all day outside in the heat, and he didn’t get enough water to drink.  By the time we met for pictures, he had a very bad headache and was in no mood for pictures.  We made it through, but I sure felt bad for the kid.  So if you are planning a day of outdoor fun followed by family pictures at sunset, make sure all the kids get enough water.  And sunscreen!  which leads to number 2.

2.  Sunscreen.  I have met my share of sunburned families for pictures.  Bear Lake is the place to come play on the water.  Along with red faces, some kids just don’t want to cooperate when they don’t feel well, and especially with a sunburn.  To avoid this, I like to recommend scheduling your family pictures at the start of your vacation, when everyone is fresh and not sun burned yet.

3. Bug repellent.  Bear Lake is known for it’s beautiful blue color, but I’ve scene families unaware that there are mosquitoes and deer flies here too.  Both bites are unpleasant, and if we are meeting at the lake for pictures, most likely they will find us.  And as a photographer, I’ve seen kids have a hard time not scratching their legs during our session.  Ticks are here too, so keep a watch out for them.IMG_2228b

4.  Bring warm clothes.  If you are new to Bear Lake you may not realize that we do get cool days in the summer.   The local joke of “Burrrr Lake” and the fact that hoodies are sold in the beach shops should also clue you in that mornings and nights can be cool here.  I have met a handful of families with kids complaining that it’s cold.  And when a kid is cold, they have a hard time hiding it.  So go ahead and plan on long pants and bring jackets so you can layer up if needed.  We never know when a cold spell will hit Bear lake.

5. Be well fed. Often times a photo session is scheduled around dinner time and I’ve had some families wait to have dinner after we are done.  A hungry kid is a hard one to photograph so if your family pictures are in the evening, let the kids have some snacks before we meet.


IMG_4556bI know for some, getting family pictures is stressful, especially when you involve extended families together.  I would say just enjoy your time together and don’t worry about the little things.   You will soon be looking back through your photos, remembering the laughs and loving the fun you had with your family at Bear Lake.

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